Highline State Park Campsite Photos Highline State Park Campground Overview »
Highline Lake 014
No matter the season, Highline Lake State Park is a diverse and welcome retreat. Connected to miles of trails and close to communities, the park makes an ideal base camp for exploring the Grand Junction area. Whether passing through on mountain bikes, or as an end destination, the park welcomes campers, anglers, families and groups.
Birders have plenty to see here. The Audubon Society designated the park an important bird area; thousands migrate through the area every winter.
Camping is offered year-round at 31 grassy campsites accommodating tents or RVs. Campers can enjoy coin operated hot showers and laundry facilities at the camper services building. Water hydrants are dispersed around the campground and a dump station is available year-round. There are no electrical hook-ups.
Amenities & Services
- Beach Access
- Bird watching
- Boating (Boat Ramp)
- Comfort Station
- Drinking Water
- Dump Station
- Fishing (Ice)
- Ice Skating
- Pets Allowed
- Restrooms (flush and vault / hot showers)
- Wildlife Viewing
Season: Year Round
Highline Lake State Park Campground Best Campsites: 17, 22, 26 and 27
Location – Directions
Highline State Park
1800 11.8 ROAD
Loma CO 81524
Drive west on I-70 west from Grand Junction to Loma Exit, then north onto Colorado Highway 139 for six miles to Q Road. Go west on Q road for 1.2 miles, then turn north onto 11.8 Road for one mile to the park entrance.
Points of Interest & Attractions
If you enjoy quiet, visit Highline Lake in the Fall; the only sounds are from the visiting waterfowl.
Take advantage of the beautiful weather - have a picnic in the grassy day use area, walk all or part of the trail around Highline and Mack Mesa Lakes or spend an afternoon bird-watching!
Even in fall and winter, Highline is famous for awesome sunsets and sunrises. And, the starry skies appear above the park earlier this time of year! Anytime is a good time to get outside, and Highline Lake State Park is just the place to do it!
Highline Lake State Park is a great place to relax in winter. The climate is mild and the park usually receives little snow, making it a nice base camp for winter recreation. When the park does receive snow, park visitors can enjoy a day of cross-country skiing, sledding, or ice fishing without leaving the park! Downhill skiing, ice fishing and sledding can also be enjoyed in the nearby mountains before returning to the park and the warmth of a winter campfire in the campground. Observing eagles, mule deer, various hawks and other wildlife and waterfowl that seek winter haven at Highline Lake is a special winter treat for park visitors.
Bikers have several trails in the park to choose from. The 3.5 mile Highline Lake Trail circles Highline Lake; in addition, there are several bonus loops that provide challenges and unique views. For a real challenge, ride the world famous 18 Hours of Fruita Trail; mountain bikers use this trail during the annual 18 hour endurance race that puts Highline Lake at the center of the mountain biking world the first weekend of every May. Try the newest addition to the 18 Hour Trail, Engle Loop! This loop adds 0.9 miles of challenging trail, making the total mileage of the 18 Hour Trail 6.42 miles. A map and other information about this loop is posted on the Highline Lake Trails pages. The park is also close to the North Fruita Desert trail system and the Kokopelli Trail head, as well as the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area. There is also a map available at the park for biking from Highline Lake to the 18 Road complex, on only rural roads. Ask for it! The campground makes a perfect base camp for all of these biking opportunities. After using the trails, many bikers swim at the swimbeach, during the summer season, or fish in the lakes, then enjoy campfires and the star-filled night sky from their campsite.
Named an important birding area by the National Audubon Society, over 200 species of birds have been observed at Highline Lake State Park, including Vermilion Flycatcher, extremely rare in Western Colorado; pelicans; blue herons; osprey; bald and golden eagles; owls; sandhill cranes; loons; loggerhead shrike and Cooper's Hawks. A 'Birds of Highline Lake State Park' checklist is available at the entrance stations or the park office. There are two Watchable Wildlife Kiosks on either side of Highline Lake, complete with viewing scopes.
Mack Mesa Lake and Highline Lake
There are two lakes to fish at Highline Lake State Park, Mack Mesa Lake and Highline Lake. Anglers can enjoy the warm-water fishing opportunities, which include largemouth bass, black crappie, black bullhead, and channel catfish. Mack Mesa and Highline lakes are stocked with cold-water rainbow trout in the spring and fall. Click on the Conditions link at left for current fishing information. Check the Colorado Division of Wildlife fishing guide for more information. Only hand or electric powered boats are allowed in Mack Mesa. Boats are only allowed in Highline Lake March 1 through September 30, weather and lake conditions permitting.
There are five great trails within the park to choose from, varying from easy to difficult for hikers of all ages and abilities. Trails and loops circle Highline Lake and Mack Mesa Lake; wander through a wetlands area below the dam rich with wildlife and birds; and take a hike to the top of Mack Mesa, where there is an amazing 360 degree view of the Grand Valley, from the Bookcliff range to Grand Mesa to the McInnis Canyons and everything in between! Watchable Wildlife Kiosks, with viewing scopes, are located on either side of Highline Lake, and are easily accessible. Ice skating and ice fishing are also popular at the lakes – conditions permitting.
Wildlife and waterfowl are abundant year round at Highline Lake. There are Watchable Wildlife Kiosks at either side of Highline Lake. These accessible educational shelters contain information about the wildlife in the park as well as viewing scopes for up-close viewing. See the web page Photo Gallery for photos of wild visitors to the park. The Visitor Center has posted photos of the park and wildlife on the walls.